New Year Boost For Erewash Groups

Voluntary and community groups across Erewash can apply for funding to help them with their work when Erewash Borough Council opens another round of its Small Community Grants scheme on Monday 11 January.
 
Groups both large and small can apply for up to £2,000 before the closing date of 5pm on Monday 8 February.
 
More than 50 local community groups have already been helped through the grants scheme over the last year, winning a share of just over £43,000 in total. Now the council wants to hear from more groups that are helping people in the borough and which could benefit from a grant to help them provide services and projects for local people.
 
Councillor Carol Hart, Erewash Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Community Engagement, says:
 
“There are many, many groups and charities in our borough that play a vital role in our communities and provide wonderful support for residents of all ages in all kinds of ways. Our small grants scheme offers these organisations a real lifeline in what are challenging times.
 
“So I would urge groups to get in touch and apply for a grant. We want to hear from everyone but we are particularly keen to encourage those voluntary groups who have not applied before or who may have missed out in the past. Let’s hear from you – we’re here to help!”
 
The council stepped up its support for voluntary organisations last year when it doubled the amount of money available for small grant awards to £80,000  - and it made that amount available again for this 2015/16 financial year .
Organisations that have already been helped include Tree Tops Hospice, Stanley Village pre-school, Long Eaton’s West Park Walkers and the 16th Ilkeston Scouts.
 
Anyone wanting more details or help with how to apply for a grant can contact the council’s Community Engagement Officer Colin Handley on 0115 907 2244 ext 3575 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Information about how to apply can also be downloaded from www.erewash.gov.uk – click on the ‘Community and Living’ link at the top of the home page and then ‘grants’.

Christmas Carol Service

The traditional Christmas Carol Service will again take place in Ilkeston Market Place on Christmas Eve from 7pm to ensure a perfect seasonal get-together for all the family. 
 
The service is always a popular event as people gather around the Christmas tree in the Market Place to sing some favourite carols, accompanied by the Salvation Army Band. The 30 minute event marks the countdown to Christmas and will also feature a short service by the Rev Michael Petitt, of Ilkeston’s St Mary’s Church, and members of other local churches - while Santa also hopes to make an appearance despite his busy schedule!
 
The Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Val Custance, will attend the event and a collection will be held in aid of her chosen charities - Clic Sargeant and the Bone Cancer Research Trust, in memory of inspirational Ilkeston schoolboy Alex Reid, who lived within the Mayor’s ward
 
Councillor Custance hopes to welcome as many residents as possible to the annual Christmas Carol Service: 
 
“This annual Carol Service is a heart-warming and traditional way for people of all ages to gather in the centre of the town and start the real countdown to the big day. It is always wonderfully atmospheric and I look forward to seeing everyone there.”
 

Free 24-Hour Festive Parking In Erewash

Erewash Borough Council will once again offer 24-hour FREE parking in all its car parks over the busy festive season.
 
The council has confirmed that its car parks will be free from Monday 14 December to Monday 28 December inclusive – an initiative aimed at giving a major boost to the borough’s traders and shoppers during the run-up to Christmas and over the festive break.
 
Councillor Michael Powell, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Regeneration and Planning, says:
 
“Offering 24-hour free parking is a further demonstration of our commitment to the on-going drive to help and support our town centres. We know this good news will be warmly welcomed
 
“We have excellent markets and shops in Ilkeston and Long Eaton – as well as local shops in villages across the borough – so we hope residents will welcome this news and, most importantly, show their support by shopping locally.”
 
All of the council’s car parks are part of the scheme, with the exception of the Long Eaton Railway Station commuters’ car park.
 

Winter Solstice Salute

Erewash Borough Council will host celebrations to mark Winter Solstice this month, an event organised as part of the council’s Festival of Light programme.

Winter Solstice is a magical family event and there will be two opportunities to take part in free lantern making workshops - at Ilkeston’s Victoria Park Leisure Centre on Saturday 12 December between 1pm and 5pm and at Erewash Museum on Saturday 19 December between 11am and 3pm.
 
A Solstice finale will be held from 4.30pm on 19 December in the outside setting of Victoria Park, Ilkeston with a free lantern lit procession by residents and the Friends of Victoria Park.
 
The procession will start at the Band Stand and will end with a short musical performance of traditional folk music by Derbyshire based Sarah Matthews and Doug Eunson, who will play the fiddle and melodeon. The music will celebrate the turning point of the year when, following Winter Solstice, the sun grows stronger and the days gradually become longer.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says: 
 
“Children of all ages will have great fun in making lanterns and other crafts at our free workshops so we look forward to welcoming as many young people as possible for the sessions. They can then join the procession at the finale with all the lanterns ensuring a spectacular sight around Victoria Park.”
 
The Erewash Festival of Light is part of the council’s arts development programme and features workshops and events that celebrate occasions like Harvest Moon, Bonfire Night, Diwali, Winter Solstice, Christmas and the Chinese New Year.
 

Christmas Lights Switch-On

A magical evening of festive fun, seasonal sights and sparkling free family entertainment is on offer when Long Eaton’s big Christmas Lights ‘switch-on’ event is held on Thursday 26 November.
 
The Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Val Custance, will ‘light up’ the town at 7pm to officially launch the Christmas season and Erewash Borough Council has once again lined up a feast of free family fun to ensure a fabulous night for everyone to enjoy.
 
A Christmas market and family fun fair will bring seasonal colour to the town centre while there will be traditional festive music and performances by the Long Eaton Silver Prize band. Street entertainers, fun ‘walkabout’ characters and a visit by Santa Claus with his reindeer will alos help ensure a magical night as Long Eaton begins its countdown to Christmas.
 
In addition, there will be a chance for celebration sing-a-longs with local band Money Spiders who will be playing from 6.20pm - 6.50pm and 7.10pm - 7.30pm.  
 
The event will take place in and around the Market Place area of the town centre from 5.30pm to 8.30pm - with the Mayor switching on the lights at 7pm.
 
One of the highlights of the event will be a striking illuminated procession by local children from Dovedale School, who will walk from Long Eaton Town Hall to the Market Place in time to light up the stage for the switching on of the Christmas lights. The school will be working with artist Anna Roebuck ahead of the event to create the procession.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, said:
 
“This festive celebration is always a popular event, full of great entertainment for all the family and we look forward to seeing everyone there.
 
“The event has a wonderfully warm family atmosphere and is the perfect way for us all to welcome the start of the Christmas season and to get together to celebrate all that our town centre has to offer.”